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Superior Court could be left short-handed

Change will soon be sweeping through the Nevada County Superior Court, where at least one judge will retire in a few months, another is reportedly considering retirement, and a third does not believe he will run for another six-year term when his current one ends in two years.

“I will have 20 years here in May,” said Judge Ersel Edwards, who is planning on retiring in May. “I am 63. It’s time to pass the torch to someone else.”

Only judges Robert Tamietti, who started his first term in 2003, and Albert Dover will be sticking around for sure.



Edwards, who is currently assigned to civil court, said that he will not actually leave the job until someone else is assigned to take over his position, or until someone is elected.

He will handle the court’s criminal calendars in the meantime. Even when he does step away from the bench, he is not walking too far way. He will remain a member of the 49er Rotary Club, and pursue his dream of mentoring local youth, he said.




“Nevada County has been good to me and my family,” he said. “I would like to be helping kids with reading, writing and arithmetic.”

Edwards said he will also plan more fishing trips and consider taking up mountain biking.

“It’s been a good ride,” he said. “I’ve enjoyed it.”

Besides Edwards, Judge John Darlington is reportedly considering retirement, according to several other judges. Darlington did not return any telephone calls from The Union over the past several weeks.

Judge Carl F. Bryan Jr., who is not sure whether he will run for re-election when his current term expires in 2007, said that while the changes at the courthouse “will cause some consternation,” the departing judges will do everything they can to make the transition a smooth one.

“No one is irreplaceable,” he said. “My belief is that even the judges who are thinking about retiring will probably stay until someone else is assigned.”

There are several ways to fill a vacancy. First, the governor has a chance to appoint anyone he wants for the remainder of the vacancy. If no appointment is made, it comes up on the ballot on the next general election. If, during the primary election, any candidate wins the majority, he or she wins that office automatically.

If a retiring judge decides not to stay on until a replacement is appointed, the court would be assigned an out-of-county judge to fill-in.


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